OM AH HUM Meditation


Understanding Death

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Geneva, Switzerland (Archive #044)

This meditation is an excerpt from a weekend seminar on death, intermediate state and rebirth that Lama Yeshe taught in Switzerland in September 1983. These teachings are included in the book, Life Death and After Death and the DVD.

You can watch Lama teaching this meditation on our YouTube video Understanding Death. The OM AH HUM meditation starts at 58.40 minutes.

Lama Yeshe meditating by the ocean, Sicily, 1983. Photo: Jacie Keeley.

When you meditate, don’t squeeze yourself. Just sit comfortably and let your breath energy flow naturally; be just as you are. Don’t think, “I’m a meditator”; don’t think, “I’m humble”; don’t think, “I’m an egotist.” Don’t think anything; just be.

Purification of body

Place your hands in whatever position is comfortable for you and close your eyes. Visualize a white OM at the center of your brain, a red AH at your throat and a blue HUM at your heart. These letters are made of radiant light. If you can’t visualize these letters in Tibetan or Sanskrit, you can visualize them in English or any other language.

Concentrate on the white OM in your brain. Recognize that this white OM is the pure energy of the divine body of the buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Make the sound “OM” and visualize that radiant white light emanates from the syllable, goes down your central psychic channel and fills your whole body with blissful, radiant white light energy. All conceptions and impure energy of body are cleansed and purified.

It is important to visualize that your entire body, from head to toe, is completely full of blissful, radiant white light energy. Feel that. Continue making the sound “OM” for two or three minutes while you are meditating and purifying your body.

When you stop making the sound, don’t do or think anything. Remain perfectly still, fully aware, unconcerned with good or bad, not reacting, free of any internal conversation, with all your attention on the light consciousness at the center of your brain. Be there. Be intensely aware and let go, without sluggishness, without distraction, without expectation.

Intensive awareness leads to the experience of zero, or egolessness; emptiness; nothing. Comprehend this intense awareness and let go.

Purification of speech

Concentrate on the red AH at your throat chakra, like the sun at sunset. Recognize that this red AH is the pure speech of the buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Make the sound “AH” for two or three minutes and visualize that radiant red light emanates from the syllable, goes down your central psychic channel and fills your whole body with blissful, radiant red light energy. All conceptions and impure energy of speech are cleansed and purified.

Again, when you finish the recitation, just be, without any expectation or interpretation, in a state of intense awareness of your own consciousness.

Understand your experience of the non-dual, of the non-self-existent I, of nothingness, zero, empty space as truth; as reality. This increases your energy for strong comprehension of reality. This experience is much more real than your waking, fantasy sense world.

When uncontrolled, distracting thoughts come during meditation, realize that not only you but also all other sentient beings are in the same situation of not being able to control the mind. On this basis, cultivate equilibrium and loving kindness for all others. Thus, your uncontrolled, distracted mind becomes a resource for the development of loving kindness. When it arises, direct that intense awareness of loving kindness towards your consciousness.

Hence, there are two ways you can meditate here. Either place intense awareness on your own consciousness or, when distractions arise, direct intense awareness of loving kindness on your own consciousness. Alternate these two.

Then, your loving kindness manifests in your central channel at your heart as a full moon disc.

Purification of mind

At your heart, on the moon disc, stands a radiant blue HUM. Recognize that this blue HUM is the non-dual wisdom of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Your heart is pure, cool and calm, opened by the radiant light of the moon and the HUM. Infinite blue light radiates from the HUM. All narrow thoughts disappear; all indecisive minds disappear; all obsessed minds disappear.

The radiant blue light from the moon and the HUM fills your whole body. Your whole body feels blissful. Filled with light, there is no room for fanatical, dualistic concepts. At the same time, make the sound “HUM” for two or three minutes. Then feel infinite blue light, like your consciousness, embrace the entire universal reality. Your intensive awareness embraces all of universal reality. Feel and be, without expectation or superstition.


There are two essential experiences that we can achieve through this meditation: wisdom and method. The wisdom experience is intensive awareness of your own consciousness. The method experience comes when you get distracted and use that lack of control as a resource to re-generate loving kindness. Then, when you are again free of distraction, remain in the experience of wisdom. In summary, when your concentration is good, place your attention on wisdom; when you are distracted, generate loving kindness.

Recitation of the OM AH HUM mantra is very useful. Since you are often too busy to recite long mantras, you can recite this short one, which represents all other mantras. In particular, when you say “OM,” intensive awareness is energized and your consciousness awakens within you.

The purpose of meditation is to awaken us from the deep sleep of ignorance—to awaken us to universal reality, not to our usual fanatic reality. Mantra touches a wider reality; that’s why it’s useful.